WE BELIEVE IN TRUTH & TRANSPARENCY AT ALL LEVELS OF THE EDUCATION SYSTEM IN LOUISIANA
Signed in as:
By J. P.
Please read each of the following points carefully before moving on to the next one. This basic understanding will allow you to fully grasp the history of Critical Race Theory and its role in America today.
• Critical Race Theory goes against the founding principles and values of our nation.
• Critical Race Theory goes against the principles of our nation because it does not see a person as an individual made up of unique thoughts, principles, beliefs, and experiences.
• Critical Race Theory does not see a person as an individual because their race is the most important attribute despite their unique thoughts, principles, beliefs, and experiences.
• Critical Race Theory focuses on the race of a person because a person’s place in our society is solely based on their race.
• Critical Race Theory claims that each person, depending on their race, falls into one of two categories. They are either “white” and an “oppressor” or “non-white” and therefore “oppressed”.
• Critical Race Theory claims that an “oppressed” person (non-white) is being held back by the “oppressors” (white people).
• Critical Race Theory claims that the “oppressors” have set up “systems of oppression” to keep the “oppressed” beneath them.
• Since the labels of “oppressed” and “oppressor” refer simply to the race of a person, these “systems of oppression” are considered examples of “systemic racism”.
• Critical Race Theorists believe that “systemic racism” within the United States is the reason why “oppressed” (non-white) people are experiencing inequities. o These inequities include but are not limited to financial, academic, employment, medical and historical oppression by the American government.
• Critical Race Theorists believe that “systemic racism” is so engrained in the fabric of America that the inequities must be fixed through systemic corrections.
• Critical Race Theorists believe these systemic corrections can only be achieved by the systems themselves engaging in “anti-racist discrimination”. o These systems include but are not limited to financial and medical institutions, schools, corporations, and the American government.
• “Anti-racist discrimination” is discrimination against the “oppressor” group and/or preferential treatment in favor of the “oppressed” group in order to achieve equity.
• Equity will be achieved when the statistical analysis of each system shows little to no difference between the “oppressor” class and the “oppressed”.
• Since we know that in Critical Race Theory the title of “oppressor” and “oppressed” is only determined by the person’s race, we know that “anti-racist discrimination” is the discrimination against white people and/or preferential treatment in favor of non-white people in order to increase the statistical representation of non-white people and/or decrease the statistical representation of white people. Critical Race Theory is only one branch of Critical Theory. There are an ever-expanding number of branches, but the goal is always the same. Identify the “oppressor” by finding the “oppressed” then do what is necessary to create equity. In Critical Theory you look for an oppressed group to find who is oppressing them.
After I explain a few instances of how Critical Race Theory is present in Louisiana schools, I will move on to why.
Now that we have gotten through the basics of what Critical Race Theory is, we must look at how it is present within Louisiana schools.
It is most seen in “anti-racist discrimination” but is also present in the language used to implement policies to achieve equity.
As of June 2021, Critical Race Theory has been put into practice within Louisiana schools in the
• It is evident in both how student teachers are recruited as well as what is expected of them.
o In a conference call between multiple Deans of Education from around the state, Dr. David J. Wallace of Relay in New Orleans said,
“Our biggest point has been getting in front of students at Historically Black Colleges
[and] Universities and not only talking about the teaching profession but layering
in, and peppering in, the idea of Social Justice or making a change.” (Louisiana Believes, 2021)
o At the 4/21/2021 BESE board meeting, the Board allocated $61,500.00 of State funds to Pre- Educator Pathway (Grow Your Own) to “ensure a robust, diverse pipeline of educators”.
Funding recipients agree to: “strategically recruit students that belong to underrepresented identities” (BESE, 2021, p. 28)
• It is evident in the companies and organizations that are chosen to “help” our students and school.
o At the 4/21/2021 BESE board meeting, the Board approved a contract for $305,250.00 of State funds to Attuned Education Partners, LLC. for four (4) months of work.
Attuned Education Partners, LLC’s claims to “commit to disrupting systems of oppression and strive to be an anti-racist organization” and plans to:
1) Bring an equity lens to all that we do within our organization and with our partners.
2) Tackle issues of race, class, and privilege thoughtfully and head-on.
3) Engage in deep collective and individual learning and reflection about issues of race, class, and power.
4) Foster inclusive, safe, and brave spaces where people are heard, respected, and can show up as their whole selves.
5) Build a team that reflects the communities most impacted by our work.
6) Proactively name and call out racist and inequitable practices, structures, and systems.
7) Recognize our limitations and identify resources and upports to help partners advance their own commitments to diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism. (Attuned Education Partners, LLC, 2019)
o At the 4/21/2021 BESE board meeting, the Board approved another contract to Attuned Education Partners, LLC for $74,999.00 to “facilitate the work of the Strong School System Pilot Initiative”.
Among other services, Attuned will provide: “2) …develop and facilitate commitment to a set of norms” (BESE, 2021, p. 13)
o At the 4/21/2021 BESE board meeting, the Board approved $74,999.00 of State funds to Empower Schools, Inc to facilitate the work of the Strong School System Pilot Initiative. Empower Schools, Inc strives to "reimagine local education systems towards more equitable life outcomes for all students” (Empower Schools Inc.)
o At the 4/21/2021 BESE board meeting, the Board approved $74,999.00 of State funds to Achievement Network, Ltd. to facilitate the work of the Strong School System Pilot Initiative.
Achievement Network, Ltd states in their “Anti-Racist Policy” that children in minority groups are at risk because of “systemic oppression, white supremacy culture, and unconscious bias” (Achievement Network Inc., 2020)
• It is evident in the UIR-D (Urgent Intervention Required for Discipline) plan.
o A school is considered a UIR-D school if the out-of-school suspension rate is two times the national average for the previous three years.
”Schools with a UIR-Discipline label will implement professional development focused on Unconscious Bias, Culturally Responsive Teaching, Culturally Responsive Leadership, or Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training for staff.” (Louisiana Department of Education, 2021)
o The implications are that
1) majority of suspensions are children from minority groups
2) that the issue is the teacher and his/her inherent bias instead of the actions of the students.
• It is evident in the Social Studies Standard Steering Committee’s proposed standards, as of June 26th . I will not get into the standards themselves as they are, purportedly, still being worked on. Instead, I will focus on the pedagogy being used to create the standards.
o The standards are being influenced by Educating for American Democracy. Educating for American Democracy believes that “Our constitutional democracy is in peril. After years of polarization, the United States is highly divided, and there is widespread loss of confidence in our very form of government and civic order. For many decades, we have neglected civics and history, and we now have a citizenry and electorate who are poorly prepared to understand, appreciate, and use our form of government and civic life.” (Educating for American Democracy, 2021)
o Just to clarify, we are a constitutional republic that utilizes democratic processes. o Educating for American Democracy uses our nation’s motto to promote being active in civics and politics. However, they have corrupted the meaning by saying that the “many” is made up of individual people instead of the individual states that make up the republic. “The original motto of the United States is e pluribus unum – out of many, one. We need many people to participate at this challenging time in building a new foundation for excellence in history and civics. We invite you to join in.” (Educating for American Democracy, 2021)
o Many of the standards for Civics run in line with Action Civics. Action Civics is a form of civics that promotes activism in social and political issues. The best example of an organization that believes in Action Civics is Generation Citizen. Listed in Generation Citizen’s 5-year plan is: “Invest Deeply in Educators – GC will engage educators as leaders in Action Civics pedagogy and practices (including high-quality curricula and teacher training and supports) that are culturally responsive, anti-racist, strengthsbased, and tailored to meet community needs. Lead a National Campaign to Ensure Access to Equity-Centered Civics Education - GC will engage in both state and federal campaigns to push for the prioritization of Action Civics education, while also engaging in robust thought leadership to ensure that Action Civics is seen as a necessary reform for the health of the country’s democracy. *Engage Young People to be at the Forefront of Policy and Advocacy Change - GC will invest young people as Action Civics alumni to help lead policy and advocacy campaigns across the country. GC will also ensure young people are key stakeholders and decision-makers throughout the wider organization.” (Generation Citizen, 2021)
*This last part is key to the actual goal of Critical Theory which I will explain, along with the history of Critical Theory, in The Why. However, I would like to point out the phrase “invest young people” in the last part. Why would they choose that phrase instead of “invest in young people”? The phrase “invest young people” implies that they see our children as capital.
This is not a comprehensive list. In fact, other evidence may have already been presented to you. I chose these examples because they fall in line with what, I believe, is the reasoning behind the push of Critical Theory.
I have cited my sources to encourage further research. Please investigate these claims.
Achievement Network Inc. (2020). ANet's Anti-Racist Policy and Standards. Achievement Network Inc.
Attuned Education Partners, LLC. (2019). Retrieved from attunedpartners.com/how-we-work/ BESE. (2021). Official Board Minutes Meeting of April 21, 2021.
Educating for American Democracy. (2021). Retrieved from https://www.educatingforamericandemocracy.org/our-vision/ Educating for American Democracy. (2021). Retrieved from https://www.educatingforamericandemocracy.org/take-action/
Empower Schools Inc. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.empowerschools.org/
Generation Citizen. (2021). Retrieved from https://generationcitizen.org/strategic-plan-2010-2025/ Louisiana Believes. (2021, February 21). Retrieved from YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Um0hFGNU3zw
Louisiana Department of Education. (2021). 2021-2022 School System Planning Guide. Louisiana Department of Education
The implementation of Critical Theory in America is not a natural progression of societal norms. It is not an accident. It is not an attempt to rectify the past. It is an attempt to rip through the very fabric of our country, to rid our nation, both the government and the people, of our liberal principles. Critical (Race/Queer/Gender/…) Theory is the child of Marxism and Identity Politics. It should come as no surprise that this is tearing our country apart.
The principle of Marxism is directly responsible for the murder of over 100 million people in the last 100 years. From the Soviet Union to the People’s Republic of China to multiple African nations to Venezuela to Cuba… the list goes on and on.
Identity politics is the idea that a person’s identifying characteristics is the most important aspect of who they are within a society. This goes against the very liberalism that our Founding Fathers held so dear in the formation of our great nation. They created a country, based on truths they considered “self-evident”, that every single person shall be seen as an individual with equal rights and opportunities under the law. While it took longer for some groups than others to be fully equal, it is the principles they put forth within the Constitution that allowed future generations to bring those truths to light for everyone.
In the following pages, I will attempt to explain the lineage of Critical Race Theory. By knowing the origins and goals of Critical Theory, we will be able to understand the current push within our schools and our culture.
The term “Critical Race Theory” was created in a workshop primarily organized by Kimberle Crenshaw, Neil Gotanda, and Stephanie Phillips. In Crenshaw’s book, she states
“…the workshop drew together 35 law scholars who responded to a call to synthesize a theory that, while grounded in Critical Theory, was responsive to the realities of racial politics in America.
Indeed, the organizers coined the term “Critical Race Theory”. (Crenshaw, 1995)
Kimberle Crenshaw is credited with developing the theory of intersectionalism, which is the idea that there are systems of oppression within a society that affects the lives of minorities, specifically black women. Crenshaw’s theory is built on the work and teachings of, among others, Angela Davis. Her acknowledgement of Davis’ work is evident in an interview about the theory with Bim Adewunmi in 2014:
“So many of the antecedents to it are as old as Anna Julia Cooper, and Maria Stewart in the 19th century in the US, all the way through Angela Davis and Deborah King”. (Adewunmi, 2014)
Angela Davis is from Birmingham, Alabama where she was surrounded by true racial injustice, inequality, and violence. When she was a junior in high school, she was accepted into an American Friends Service Committee program that focused on taking black students from the south and placing them into integrated schools in the north. Davis was placed in Elisabeth Irwin High School in Greenwich Village, NYC. (Bubbins, 2018)
While in New York, Davis and two classmates started a Socialist club called “Advance”. (Aptheker, 1999) Angela Davis attended Brandeis University in Boston where she met Herbert Marcuse. In a 2007 television interview, Davis said,
"Herbert Marcuse taught me that it was possible to be an academic, an activist, a scholar, and a revolutionary." (Fokos, 2007)
Davis then moved to Germany to study philosophy at the University of Frankfurt and became increasingly radicalized and infatuated with the promises of Communism and the teachings of Marxism through the Frankfurt School. (Davis, 1989)
She would later follow Herbert Marcuse to the University of California in San Diego where she would earn a master’s degree (Joseph, 2006) before returning to Germany to earn her doctorate in philosophy at Humboldt University in East Germany. (Nagel, 2005)
Angela Davis is a Civil Rights activist and respected voice in the BLM Movement and the push to see the world through the lens of Critical Race Theory.
But who is her mentor, Herbert Marcuse?
Herbert Marcuse was a prominent member of the Frankfurt School of thought, commonly known as Critical Theory. Instead of attempting to explain the history of the Frankfurt School, I will instead refer to the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, a peer-reviewed academic resource.
The Frankfurt School, known more appropriately as Critical Theory, is a philosophical and sociological movement spread across many universities around the world. It was originally located at the Institute for Social Research (Institut für Sozialforschung), an attached institute at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany. The Institute was founded in 1923 thanks to a donation by Felix Weil with the aim of developing Marxist studies in Germany. After 1933, the Nazis forced its closure, and the Institute was moved to the United States where it found hospitality at Columbia University in New York City. (Corradetti, n.d.)
The Frankfurt School was made up of many philosophers and sociologists that were influenced by Antonio Gramsci, Gyorgy Lukacs, and Karl Marx. I will mostly focus on Herbert Marcuse and Max Horkheimer; however, it is important to understand Gramsci’s view of society and how to dismantle it.
Antonio Gramsci was a Marxist philosopher from Italy who wrote a series of notebooks while imprisoned. He took Karl Marx’s view of economic power struggles and added politics. He believed that everything is political. He theorized that in order to truly affect change within the oppressive culture and political environment of capitalism you must create a counterculture (he called it hegemony) within the five pillars of a society: Family, Religion, Media, Law, and Education and destroy the pillar from the inside.
This is a quick summary, but you can read more about his view of the world and how to change it in the study, “Social Movements and Counter-Hegemony: Lessons from the Field” by William K. Carroll and R. S. Ratner which explains how to use Gramsci’s political instructions to create an equitable, Marxian society. (Carroll & Ratner, 2010)
Marcuse and Horkheimer believed in Marx’s critique of capitalism. They agreed that capitalism is the root cause of the power struggle between the two classes (ie. the owners/oppressors/bourgeois and the workers/oppressed/proletariat) but felt that Marx did not account for the idea that most people do not truly suffer within a capitalist system. If most people are not suffering, then the masses will not revolt against the oppressors. In an interview in 1969, Max Horkheimer stated:
“This sociology went beyond the critical theory of society conceived by Marx in order to reflect reality more adequately. One point is very important. For Marx had the ideal of a society of free human beings. He believed that this capitalist society would necessarily have to be overcome by the solidarity spelled by the increasing immiseration of the working class. This idea is wrong. This society in which we live does not immiserate the workers but helps them to build a better life. And apart from that. Marx did not see that freedom and justice are dialectical concepts. The more freedom, the less justice and the more justice, the less freedom. The critical theory which I conceived later is based on the idea that one cannot determine, what is good, what a good, a free society would look like from within the society which we live in. We lack the means. But in our work, we can bring up the negative aspects of this society, which we want to change.”
To summarize the quote: Marx focused on the idea that the working class would eventually revolt against their oppressors to overthrow the capitalist society. Horkheimer, and the Frankfurt School, believed that people must be stripped of the comforts of capitalism and shown the oppression among them.
Herbert Marcuse’s 1965 essay Repressive Tolerance explains his view of tolerance in a democratic society. He believes that tolerance by the majority is not real tolerance because it excludes the voices of marginalized groups. He also explains that the only reason the majority is in the position to democratically bypass the will of the minority is because American culture is controlled by capitalism and the media. His answer to this is what he calls “Discriminatory Tolerance” - the idea that tolerance should be given to the minority group in order to level the playing field. In his 1968 postscript to Repressive Tolerance, he changes his solution from ideas to action.
The tolerance, which is the life element, the token of a free society, will never be the gift of the powers that be; it can, under the prevailing conditions of tyranny by the majority, only be won in the sustained effort of radical minorities, willing to break this tyranny and to work for the emergence of a free and sovereign majority – minorities that are intolerant, militantly intolerant, and disobedient to the rules of behavior which tolerate destruction and suppression. (Marcuse, 1969)
Herbert Marcuse, with input from Max Horkheimer and the Frankfurt School, took the philosophical teachings of Marx and added a sociological framework. They figured out how to make Marx’s goal of society free of economic inequity, which previously ended in Communism (ie. The Soviet Union which killed 500,000 people in the first five years) and added the goal of social equity. This is where “Conflict Theory” becomes “Critical Theory”.
Marcuse and his protégé Angela Davis take “Critical Theory” and add the social and racial inequalities of America in the 1960s to facilitate revolutionary movements like the Black Panthers, the Black Liberation Movement, and the Communist Party USA. Inspired Angela Davis’s work that combined Critical Theory and identity, Kimberle’ Crenshaw worked with other like-minded individuals to create “Critical Race Theory”.
In my opinion, Critical Theory is being implemented in our schools in order to create a generation of people who are open to Marxism. They will be taught that society needs to be equitable and to be aware of their group, whether oppressed or oppressor. They will learn that it is not only their right but their duty to take action and create equity. They will be taught that a Democracy is better than the Constitutional Republic that we are now.
Our government was created to protect us from the mob rule that comes from a democracy which is why use democratic processes to elect representatives within our Constitutional Republic.
The push of Critical Theory, especially in our schools, is an attempt to indoctrinate the next generation. It will be the voices of our children that vote our country into ruin.
Dr. Kimberly Crenshaw
Parents Defending Education They are working to reclaim schools from activists imposing harmful agendas. Check them out!
The Heritage Foundation A leading Think Tank working on many of the central issues facing our nation, including Critical Race Theory.
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